On Sunday 22nd April we met at Park Community School to remember our former player and club stalwart Rich Bonsey, who died of cancer on 25th April 2017. As well as the walking football, there was a raffle and quiz night to follow. Having extorted additional match fees out of guest teams and then plundered them for raffle tickets and prizes, the profit from the day was to go to Southampton University’s Cancer Immunology Research.
The Many Shades got out of the blocks well, and in no time were 1-0 up against Bognor Regis Boulders, thanks to James McIlwaine’s fine finish. However the strikers decided that charity was order of the day, and conspired to miss at least six good chances before Derek Pope finally decided to put one away. With Bognor on the rocks, Bobby De Ste Croix wrapped up a 3-0 win for us.
With his dedicated fan club in attendance, Stew was determined to put on a show
Next up was a tough game against pre-tournament favourites Pompey ITC. Slightly against the run of play, James squeezed home a first-half goal, and from that point on it was a little like the Alamo as Pompey played some excellent football that was well matched by the Many Shades’ well-drilled defence. Particular mention must go to the inspired Player of the Festival, goalie Colin Jeffery, whose performance earned us a 1-0 win.
With Bobby looking on, Rich moves in on Nick from Pompey ITC
The Many Shades then met a solid and enterprising Fleet of Foot side, who as winners of our previous 60+ Festival were no push-over. A tense game ended 0-0.
Barry T in full flow
A busy CJ in goal tips a shot onto the upright
Unwisely, Derek gets his backside in the way of one of Rich’s piledrivers
Mountbatten were our next opponents, and they had only narrowly lost to Pompey, and drawn their other matches, so were not going to be easy. It took the “Goal of the Festival” from Bobby to open the scoring, a stunning finish into the top corner from some distance. With Mountbatten having to push forward after this, an opportunity arose for Rich Bishop to score from just inside the area, and a 2-0 win seemed a fair result.
Rich drives one into the box with James ready to pounce
The Many Shades’ final game was against Emsworth & Hayling, who were coming off a totally uncharacteristic 5-0 hammering by Pompey. Beware the wounded animal, and sure enough they put up a very hard-working performance, scoring the only goal that CJ conceded all day. Fortunately goals from Rich and Bobby (2) saw us comfortably home by a 3-1 scoreline.
The final positions on the day were the Many Shades first with 13 points from five games, Pompey ITC second (12), followed by Fleet of Foot (8), Emsworth & Hayling (5), Mountbatten WFT (2), and finally Bognor Regis Boulders (1).
Your Many Shades squad was: (back) Derek Pope, Barrie Gray (Timekeeper-in-chief), Bobby De Ste Croix, Rich Bishop, Barry Ingram, Tindall, Pete Dolamore. (front) Colin Jeffery (g), James McIlwaine, Stew Russell
We all returned to the Westleigh for the buffet and presentation. For the first time in all of the Festivals that the Many Shades have put on, we actually won one – at the NINETEENTH attempt!!! Derek Pope proudly accepted the trophy on our behalf.
The buffet of course was our true highlight of the day, and once again Suzette and Natalie did us proud, with yet another Probably the best Walking Football Buffet in the World. The quiz night was won by the very talented Mountbatten WFT team, who made early but effective use of their joker.
Overall winner of the day was of course the fundraising for Southampton University Cancer Immunology Research, which benefited to the tune of £341.21 after expenses.